Bernadine Healy M.D. writes an ethics-free, logic-free essay in the latest U.S. News & World Report on male circumcision. She mostly offers the recycled nonsense promoted by people uninterested in thinking the issue through. However, Dr. Healy searches for a new bottom in the discussion. She comes as close to stating it as anyone I’ve read:
I caution parents, however, against delaying the decision until the child is old enough to decide for himself. Get real. Not many teenage boys would relish the discussion, let alone the act. Nor do I think they would have the perspective to weigh the medical pros and cons.
So, because he would not relish the discussion or the act, it’s better to force it on him as an infant? As if his presumed refusal as a teenager is not a timeless opinion, as true when he’s 13 hours old as it is when he’s 13 years old. And how unfairly low does your opinion of teens have to be to guess that he wouldn’t have the perspective to understand that his foreskin is healthy and doesn’t require surgical removal? How unfairly high is your opinion of parents if you trust that they’re worried more about his (absurdly low) risk of HIV than the risk that
daddy junior will freak when he sees that junior daddy looks different?
In a time when it is appropriate to question the use or overuse of certain medical procedures, however minor they might seem, having these discussions in medical journals and in public circles is healthy.
Just don’t have them with your kid when it’s his genitals at stake. He might not understand. He might even say “no”. Otherwise, yeah, let’s discuss this.
What is not healthy in this free flow of ideas is to diminish the real abuse of female genital mutilation with a trumped-up portrayal of the “abuse” that infant circumcision allegedly exacts on our helpless baby boys.
This is the obtuse thinking of a dullard. For (not) the last time, comparing male and female genital cutting does not diminish what is done to girls. That is evil. It is unnecessary. It should not occur. It is a basic violation of the right to remain free from harm.
But the exact same thing is perpetrated upon boys. That is evil. It is unnecessary. It should not occur. It is a basic violation of the right to remain free from harm.
There is nothing complicated about understanding this. The mutilation of boys rises to the level of unacceptability of what is done to girls. No one is saying that the comparison now justifies cutting girls. Stop hearing what you want to hear and listen to what is being said. Medically unnecessary genital cutting on non-consenting individuals is wrong, ethically and morally. Gender is not a factor in the violation.